Crèches from Mexico featured in bilingual exhibit and pilgrimage

Author: Meg Mirshak

International Crèche Exhibit and Pilgrimage

Christmas nativity scenes crafted by artists in Mexico will be on display in six Notre Dame campus buildings Nov. 29 (Wednesday) through Jan. 28 (Sunday). The fourth annual International Crèche Exhibit and Pilgrimage features 32 crèches on loan from the Marian Library at the University of Dayton. The exhibit is sponsored by the McGrath Institute for Church Life.

A prayerful pilgrimage to view the crèches will be held Dec. 3 (Sunday). Prayer, Scripture readings and song will be led in English and Spanish. The event begins at 2 p.m. with a brief presentation by David Lantigua, assistant professor of theology, University of Notre Dame, and an activity for children at the Eck Visitors Center.

The pilgrimage will move from the Eck Visitors Center through campus to the other displays and end at the Main Building. Pilgrims are invited to bring the baby Jesus from their home crèche for a blessing. All are welcome.

”Images of Jesus’ nativity remind us that God has made our world his home,” said John Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life. “The unique beauty of each crèche in this year’s exhibit reminds us of the spiritual richness in Mexico and calls us to imagine how we welcome the Christ Child in our cultures and communities.”

The theme of the exhibit is “En Camino A Belèn: Journeying to Bethlehem.” The crèches selected for this year’s display feature vibrant colors, natural materials and images of indigenous cultures.

The crèches will be on display in the Eck Visitors Center, Morris Inn, Coleman-Morse Center, Main Building, Geddes Hall and Hesburgh Library. Visitors are encouraged to make self-guided tours of the crèches using booklets available at all exhibit sites. For more information, visit

The Christmas crèche originated with Saint Francis of Assisi in the year 1223. Saint Francis recreated the night of Christ’s birth in a cave near the town of Grecio, Italy, to arouse the devotion of the town’s inhabitants.

Contact: Brett Robinson, director of communications, McGrath Institute for Church Life, 574-631-6109,

The McGrath Institute for Church Life at Notre Dame partners with Catholic dioceses, parishes and schools to address pastoral challenges with theological depth and rigor. By connecting the Catholic intellectual life at Notre Dame to the life of the Church, the McGrath Institute for Church Life forms faithful Catholic leaders for service to the Church and the world. For more information, visit

Originally published by Meg Mirshak at on November 16, 2017.